Our temperatures seem to be all over the place lately, and perhaps that is indeed the best indicator that fall is on the way. Yes, cool autumn days will arrive eventually. And when they do I love to have my fall handbag (or two!) ready to carry. So today I’m sharing some tips to help us find the best handbag for each of us individually. And I’ve rounded up some absolutely gorgeous handbags at a full range of prices for you to check out.
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Before We Start…(a matter of courtesy)
In this fairly recent YouTube video about handbags for spring and summer, I mentioned that handbag selection is somewhat a personal process. Some women love designer handbags, while others prefer to put their money elsewhere and opt for more economical bags. I tend to be somewhere in the middle, shopping for high quality bags I can carry for multiple years, but not necessarily iconic designer bags.
But I really prefer not to talk about prices so much here at Dressed for My Day. I’ve never claimed to be a good bargain hunter, but I do like to watch for sales or accumulate loyalty points at my favorite stores with which to make my purchases. And while I can only link you to a limited selection of stores to shop, you should always feel free to look for the items I show or similar ones at second hand sources when possible.
That said, I feel like budgets for clothing, accessories and anything else in our lives really is a personal matter. So I try to give a little guidance regarding style and then provide lots of options in a full range of price points and from various sources. And of course some blog posts feature higher priced options, while others share more economically priced selections. But I do work really hard to provide a variety.
In that spirit, please help me keep the comments section free of criticism about prices. Not only do I not like feeling shamed for my own choices, I don’t want other readers to feel criticized for purchases they may make either. Instead let’s focus on the tips I’m providing today as well as the huge selection of bags I have for you at the end of the post.
Now let’s move on to those tips to help you find the best handbag for you.
Tip 1 – Consider your frame when choosing a handbag.
Regardless of trends, it’s optimal for your shoulder bag or handbag to look proportionate to your body frame.
Here’s a handy chart to help you make these considerations:
- If you are over 5’7″ you can carry a…medium or large bag.
- If you are under 5’3″ you can carry a…medium or small bag.
- If you are 5’3″ to 5’7″ you may want to stick with a medium bag.
Of course these are not rules, just meant to be helpful guidelines. If you want to carry a bag that is a little smaller or larger than your frame, you may just need to make other adjustments in your outfit to accommodate your choice. For instance, you could wear higher heels or a tonal outfit to accommodate a larger bag choice.
Tip 2 – Know what is in style in handbags.
To make the best decisions on new purchases, you’ll want to be abreast of the latest, most up-to-date styles. You don’t have to participate in any trends that don’t appeal to you, but it’s fun to know what is in vogue.
For instance, this year clutches are really on trend. These classic bags are not always practical to carry. But if you’re looking for a bag for a special occasion, you might want to opt for a pretty clutch instead of your usual crossbody this time.
What else is trending this year? I’m seeing a lot of crescent moon shaped hobos like this Fossil, this alternative from Walmart and this croissant hobo from Rebecca Minkoff. Those have a stylishly casual vibe and promise lots of room for your belongings generally.
We’re also seeing a return to top handles. A top handle satchel is a great way to elevate an outfit. They’re so ladylike.
And we’re seeing handbags in the colors of the season, too. For really trending colors, look to bold green, saffron yellow, deep reds or even pretty teals and blues. I love this deep lagoon leather hobo from Talbots. Of course other styles are still in vogue, too. In fact, I’m seeing all kinds of handbags to choose from this fall and winter. It’s just good to be in the know.
Tip 3 – But let your personal style trump the trends.
Don’t sacrifice your personal style just to carry a trendy bag. That’s how we make regrettable purchases. Instead, lean into your personal style. For instance, metallics continue to trend this fall and winter, too. I think a metallic bag like this Hobo bag is so fun. But if metallic doesn’t really resonate with your personal style, stay away from the trending gold, silver and gunmetal bags and opt for something more classic instead.
I purchased this red tote in the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale because I was looking for a red bag. But while red bags are definitely trending, I’ll be able to carry this bag for years since I have a lot of red in my wardrobe anyhow. So just make sure you let your personal style trump the trends.
Tip 4 – Check the bag for functionality.
I do most of my shopping online, so I have to really do a little digging on the store’s website in order to check for functionality. But it’s so worth it to put in the effort and time so that you don’t end up with a bag that doesn’t really work for you.
Most retail websites provide plenty of details about the size of the bag as well as pockets, zip enclosures, snaps, magnetic closures and more. Know what features are “must haves” for you and which ones you’ll fudge on a little. But don’t order a bag that lacks the features you need for your daily life.
I always look for bags with:
- pockets for eyeglasses and sunglasses
- at least one internal zipper enclosure
- detachable straps if I want to convert it
Tip 5 – Make sure the bag is comfortable to carry.
Not only should your bag be functional, but it should be comfortable to carry or wear. I find that I tend to fill bags to their capacity, so I no longer opt for totes very often. I tend to fill them too full and they become heavy and cumbersome.
And while I love satchels, I like to make sure that I can add a strap for easy carrying if needed. In fact, the Coach Rogue bag above comes with three sets of straps.
Tip 6 – Consider where the bag will rest when you carry it.
Not only do we need to consider our frame and how the bag coordinates with it, but we are wise to think about where the bag will rest on our bodies when in use. A bag can add visual weight or bulk to your appearance, so choose wisely.
For instance, if you are larger in the chest, you may not want to wear a shoulder bag that fits you where this shoulder bag above is on me. But if you are hippier, like I am, this might be a good place to carry your bag.
Of course a small profile crossbody bag like this versatile Hudson from Kate Spade is not going to add a lot of visual weight anyhow. But if you’ve opted for a more medium size or large bag, you’ll definitely want to consider where it will hit you as you carry it.
Tip 7 – Select a neutral bag first…
I do think that it’s wise to make a good, versatile neutral colored bag your first purchase. This is a bag you can carry with so many different outfits.
This Kate Spade Hudson medium convertible crossbody has turned out to be such a good purchase. Cost per wear the price goes down on it almost daily for me. Plus, I can use this bag during all four seasons.
But a black bag can be a great option, too. And I do carry these year round as well.
Tip 8 – …then add a colored bag or one with detailing to your collection.
Don’t be afraid of wearing a pop of color with your bag. It’s a great way to add interest to your outfit. I do find that I have to work at wearing my colorful bags more than I do the neutral ones, however. So if you doubt you’ll really use it, you don’t have to have a colored bag.
So let’s get to those new fall handbags I scouted out for you. I think many of these are absolutely swoon-worthy! And if you’re not one to spend a lot on a bag, use the pricier ones for inspiration. But I’ve got lots of great bags at a full range of prices here. Enjoy!
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Blessed for My Day
When we prioritize joy, we minimize complaints, criticism, anger and fear. Those hard and heavy emotions cannot survive long in the light of joy. But how do we invite more joy into our lives, especially if we are indeed working through some hard things?
I find that joy is a daily, sometimes hourly, choice. I choose joy when I turn on praise music rather than drowning my sorrows in woeful country tunes. I choose joy when I pause to thank God for His new mercies, His enduring faithfulness and His overwhelming grace and love. I choose joy when I reach out to serve someone else rather than wondering why no one is serving or helping me. And I choose joy when I end my day by recounting how God was faithful throughout the day. How will you choose joy today?
Come, let’s sing for joy to the Lord,
Let’s shout joyfully to the rock of our salvation.
Let’s come before His presence with a song of thanksgiving,
Let’s shout joyfully to Him in songs with instruments.
For the Lord is a great God
And a great King above all gods… ~ Psalm 95:1-3